The Bible teaches us that God has given all of us a responsibility as His people to look after the world He created, and we believe a big part of that is caring for the environment. As a church we haven’t always done this very well, but we want that to change. We are on a journey to learn more and to take action wherever we can to protect the world God loves.
Steps we’ve taken so far
1. We have found Eco Church a really helpful resource in evaluating CCL’s impact on the environment, and are using their Eco Survey to get a clear picture of what we’re doing well and what we need to improve.
2. We are cutting down the amount of paper and plastic waste we create at our Sunday services by encouraging the use of keep-cups and reusable water bottles, rather than providing disposable cups and bottles.
3. We have reduced the use of transport vans we use to get our equipment around on Sundays, by using on-site storage or, in some cases, finding venues with better storage facilities.
Steps you can take
1. Fall in love with the world you want to protect
It’s not always easy to stay motivated when making changes to our habits, but nurturing our love of the natural world is a good place to start. So why not think about your favourite outdoor spot in London and spend some time there appreciating the beauty of nature around you. Or look at pictures from your favourite holiday to remind you of the variety of environments around the world. You could change your phone background or stick a photo on the fridge to remind you of what what it is we’re called to look after.
2. Understand your impact
Before planning how you might change your behaviour, it can be helpful to understand what is likely to make the most difference. You can calculate your carbon footprint here, and learn about how to offset the impact you have.
3. Consider what you eat
Research suggests that reducing or cutting out red meat such as beef and lamb from your diet is one of the most effective ways you can reduce your carbon footprint with the food you eat. The World Resources Institute and WWF have some helpful information on this.
4. Consider what you wear
Buying ethically-sourced clothing is another effective way to reduce your impact on the environment, and it also protects the people who make them. Our friends at Together Street have lots of helpful advice on this, as well as listing ethical clothing and beauty brands they recommend. A few to get you started are: Brothers We Stand, Know The Origin and Lucy and Yak. Have a favourite ethical clothing brand? Tweet us @christchurchlondon!
Why not go somewhere outdoors that inspires or relaxes you, and turn it into a prayer walk? You could bring some friends and pray for the area around you, and for your local authorities and decision-makers. Please pray for us as a church as we try to make changes, and for God’s help and guidance as we seek to better care for His world.
6. Email your MP
You might want to write to your MP and ask them to prioritise climate change. Finding out what they may already be doing about climate change and understanding their perspective can help you engage with them well; check out this template letter for ideas.
Below are some books and resources you may find helpful in thinking about the environment.
1. A New Heaven and a New Earth, J. Richard Middleton. A brilliant book on heaven and earth, and God’s plan to restore all of creation.
2. For the Beauty of the Earth, Steven Boumer-Prediger. A great book on the theology and ethics of Creation Care
3. ‘L’ is for Lifestyle, Ruth Valerio. A really practical book for how to live responsibly.
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